Friday, 3 July 2009

Ian Clement, Boris, Cameron and jobs for the boys

The News Shopper have been going through Ian Clement's Bexley expense claims:

Among the long list is one for:

November 30, 2007 - Mr Clement treats former Bexley chief executive Nick Johnson to an £86.40 meal courtesy of Bexley Council taxpayers at London restaurant Le Pont de la Tour. Mr Johnson, then 54, had retired on November 4 from his £203,000 Bexley job on ill-health grounds, with a full pension and a six-figure settlement. Just four months later he took a new £125,000 job with Hammersmith and Fulham Homes, an off-shoot of Hammersmith and Fulham Council. No reason is available for the lunch.

A month earlier:

"October 31 and November 3, 2007 - Mr Clement claimed £90.57. Bexley Council said: "We were informed by Mr Clement all three items were incidental expenditure relating to the course". The course in question was the BT leadership course which necessitated Mr Clement travelling twice to the USA and which cost the council £7,000. No detailed breakdown of the £7,000 has been revealed by the council. Mr Clement left the council just months after completing the course."

The £7000 junket to America was cleared by Nick Johnson.

That's the same Nick Johnson who retired on "ill health" soon after, before turning up for a recuperative meal at Le Pont de la Tour, before swiftly moving on to a new job at Hammersmith and Fulham.

Any alarm bells ringing yet? Well they didn't ring for Boris last year:

Oh well I guess you live and learn. By the time David Cameron takes power nationally, I'm sure the Conservative Party will have sorted these problems out.

So who's in charge of all that? Oh yes here he is:

Nick Boles, former head of the Policy Exchange thinktank and a close friend of Mr Cameron.

Yes that's right, the same Nick Boles who was in charge of setting up Boris's administration.

And who later told the Assembly that it would have been too "ball-breaking" to do the necessary checks on Boris's appointments.

Like Ray Lewis. Who launched Boris's campaign. And who David Cameron chose to visit on his first day as leader.

Are you feeling filled with confidence yet?


Tom said...

"a new job at Hammersmith and Fulham"

What, is he the guy behind the 'demolish the council housing and screw the tenants' policy?

LBHF and Bexley - your new overlords. Weep, mortals.

Anonymous said...

I am as about as confident as I am when Ken was in power. Ie - not especially.

Ken/Boris....chancers who will spin and spin and try to get away with as much as possible.

AdamB said...

Look over there! It's Ken! Look!

The thing is, Ken isn't in power, Boris is. And soon Cameron and his elite team (Osborne and Boles) will be as well. Comforting no?

Anonymous said...

I know Boris is now in power. But all just feels the same.....

I find no politician particularly comforting. Labour are as much the "elite" as Cameron. After all they have been in power for 12 years so let's not kid ourselves that they are somehow excluded from that famous "gentlemen's club" that Brown & his cronies like to dredge up. They are part of that club.

I am not worried if Cameron becomes PM. In fact I may even vote Tory for the first time in my life. All this class warrior crap from Labour is nonsense. I do not care if my PM went to Eton or the local comp. I care what he does now, how he can help the country.

Brown has made such a mess. They have been in power for 12 years and we need a change. Regardless of what party you are, when you rule for such a long period you become lazy, cynical and arrogant. That's why Labour needs to go. That's why the Tories had to go in '97 (hell they should have gone in '92...or '79!)

AdamB said...

I meant no class connotations by 'elite' just that these are the best that Cameron has got.

As for laziness, cynicism and arrogance, I'm not convinced that they have much to do with the length of time somebody has been in power.

There's been plenty of examples of all of these in Boris's first year, just as there have been plenty of examples in Gordon's last year.

On the other hand, I don't buy the line that all politicians are the same either. There's always a choice, even if it's between varying degrees of incompetence.

Tom said...

"That's why the Tories had to go in '97 "

Also because they were infested with sleazeballs who thought they could get away with it because of their God-given right to power. It's a pity they're still in the party after 12 years of opposition, really. You're not supposed to enter government full of proven sleazeballs and incompetents.

Anonymous said...

Nick Boles seems to be visiting City Hall in stealth mode. He was seen by a few staff parking his bicycle in Tooley street behind City Hall. Wonder who he was meeting???? And at almost lunch time too......

AdamB said...

When was this? Pre or post Clement's departure?

AdamB said...

Email me about it if you'd prefer.

Anonymous said...

Question to be raised about this lunch at full council tomorrow night.